Every day when I wake up, I feel gratitude because I am able to lift as I climb and inspire others. Growing up in the small rural community of Georgetown, South Carolina I learned that nothing in life comes easy and to get things done, hard work, integrity, and focus would be critical. I knew leaving my hometown to attend North Carolina A&T State University was the biggest opportunity for me to change the narrative for not only myself, but for my family. If not me, then who? This was my chance to show the world who I am and what I could be capable of.
While attending North Carolina A&T, a Historically Black College & University (HBCU), I was fortunate to be actively involved in student life and leadership starting my freshman and sophomore year. I was the official student ambassador, elected as the 8th Mister North Carolina A&T, representing over 11,000 students my senior year. During this year, I had the opportunity to meet with President Barack Obama and lead a community forum with Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. My HBCU equipped and exposed me to opportunities that prepared me for the real world and for my upcoming journey at Microsoft.
Leading up to graduation, I knew how important the next few months of my life would be. It seemed like every upcoming decision had major implications on how my career would begin. As I evaluated my potential employment opportunities, I started to look at the details of what mattered the most to me in terms of career and personal development.
Career: I knew I wanted to work for a company whose mission truly stuck with me, created a culture of diversity and inclusion, and would provide me with the support to make an impact outside of my day to day work.
Personal Development: I knew I wanted to be in an environment where I could continue to add to my skill set, learn from those around me and build my network to help mold me into a more valuable asset.
With these things in mind, I took my experiences and perspective to Microsoft. Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. There was just something different about Microsoft's mission statement that motivated me from the day I accepted my offer, this is where I belonged.
As a first-generation college graduate, earning a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, and working at one of the top tech companies in the world for the past four years is the biggest and most significant accomplishment for me and my family.
I started my career the summer of 2017 with Microsoft as a Channel Operations Manager fresh out of college. I remember my first year at Microsoft supporting the Xbox One X launch. The feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself was gratifying and fulfilling. Working tirelessly with my team through tough challenges to release the final product was exhilarating and allowed me to work on a project that had global impact.
I always hoped that one day I would be able to break generational curses and pave the way to create opportunities for others behind me. I live by the motto “tough times never last, tough people do.” Despite your circumstances, with hard work and determination, you can achieve the impossible and exceed expectations. I feel the weight of the world everyday as a young Black male, but I have learned to always focus on the positive and persevere. I’m living proof that is possible to come from an under resourced and under privileged community and reach new heights.
Currently, I am in my 2nd role as a Strategic Sourcing Manager II in Microsoft Devices supporting all hardware products.
Let’s lift each other up as we climb and realize our impact.
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